The aims of this quality improvement project were to: (1) proactively identify people living with frailty and CKD; (2) introduce a practical assessment, using the principles of the comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA), for people living with frailty and chronic kidney disease (CKD) able to identify problems; and (3) introduce person-centred management plans for people living with frailty and CKD.
A frailty screening programme, using the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), was introduced in September 2018. A Geriatric Assessment (GA) was offered to patients with CFS ≥ 5 and non-dialysis- or dialysis-dependent CKD. Renal Frailty Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meetings were established to discuss needs identified and implement a person-centred management plan.
A total of 450 outpatients were screened using the CFS. One hundred and fifty patients (33%) were screened as frail. Each point increase in the CFS score was independently associated with a hospitalisation hazard ratio of 1.35 (95% CI 1.20-1.53) and a mortality hazard ratio of 2.15 (95% CI 1.63-2.85). Thirty-five patients received a GA and were discussed at a MDT meeting. Patients experienced a median of 5.0 (IQR 3.0) problems, with 34 (97%) patients experiencing at least three problems.
This quality improvement project details an approach to the implementation of a frailty screening programme and GA service within a nephrology centre. Patients living with frailty and CKD at risk of adverse outcomes can be identified using the CFS. Furthermore, a GA can be used to identify problems and implement a person-centred management plan that aims to improve outcomes for this vulnerable group of patients.